Judge Jackson took special umbrage at the defense team’s argument that Mr. Stone’s deception was of no real consequence. “Sure, defense is free to say, ‘Who cares?’” she said. “But I will say this: Congress cared.” So, too, she said, did the Justice Department and U.S. attorney’s office, which brought the case, and the jurors who heard the evidence.
“The American people cared. And I care,” she declared.
In his remarks in Las Vegas, Mr. Trump made clear he was not satisfied with the outcome of the case.
“I’m not going to do anything in terms of the great powers bestowed on a president of the United States,” he said. “I want the process to play out. I think that’s the best thing to do because I’d love to see Roger exonerated — and I’d love to see it happen — because personally I think he was treated unfairly. ”
He said he would wait to see how the case was ultimately resolved.
“We will watch the process and watch it very closely,” the president added. “And at some point, I will make a determination. But Roger Stone and everybody has to be treated fairly. And this has not been a fair process, OK?”
Judge Jackson, who spent six years in the U.S. attorney’s office in Washington that handled the case, interrogated the prosecutor who replaced the four who quit over the change in sentencing recommendation ordered by Mr. Barr. In a second sentencing recommendation, prosecutors said “far less” of a prison term than seven to nine years was warranted, but left the length of incarceration up to the judge.
Why, she asked, had the prosecutors scrapped Justice Department policy — as well as the usual practice of the office — and sought a more lenient punishment than advisory sentencing guidelines suggested?
“As I understand it, you are representing the United States of America,” she told John Crabb Jr., an assistant United States attorney, with a trace of sarcasm. “I fear you know less about the case, saw less of the testimony and exhibits than just about every other person in this courtroom.”